black & white original stone

Trying to Jumpstart my Creativity – Week 1

Three years ago, after 11 years of health issues, I was finally ready to try painting again.

I was taking a course in WordPress at the time, and thought that blogging about the experience and posting it to the course website would be a good way to learn about blogging. Here’s my attempt to document the process:

April 30th, 2011 – the beginning of a new creative me!

I have signed up for a multimedia painting class at the Art School starting June 6th, hoping it will get me started painting again after having my life hijacked for so many years.

Flicker has some one-a-day photography groups that look to be an intriguing way to jumpstart one’s creativity. However, during the last 11 years photography was one of the few things open to me, and as a result I am already taking one (or 10 or 20 photos) on most days. So the one-a-day photography thing doesn’t really work for me.

Instead I have reworked the idea: spend a minimum of 1/2 hour per day on one creative project, for the entire month preceding my multimedia painting class. The projects can be sketching, taking ‘well-thought-out’ photos (as opposed to the mindless snapping I usually do), jotting down ideas…

Should I document this process? YES! How much time should I spend documenting the process? Hopefully less time than I spend on each project…

April 30th’s test project: Sketch and photos of my ‘Black Parrot’ tulip.
sketch and photosketch and photo

May 1st – today was the first real day of my creativity project and I blew it.

We went to Van Dusen Gardens Plant Sale, and, as usual, I took a lot of photos. The ones of the steel origami sculptures in the garden got me thinking about incorporating folded metal into some of my other work. So I guess that counts. Sort of. (More about the steel origami sculptures by Sebastian)
origami steel While we were at the Gardens I did manage to scout out a location for another potential creative project: ‘slow-motion’ photos. Both the Japanese Garden and Jade Waterfall had potential, and both might be even more interesting when wet, something I’ll keep in mind when I organize that photo trip.

What I actually ended up doing was buying 10 plants, and then I had to spend the rest of the day planting, and by the time night had fallen I had only managed to plant about five of them.

May 2rd – one jewelry project turns into two. 

Somehow I ended up doing TWO projects today, despite the fact that it took a lot of time just to clear up some space in order to work. I had to do a bunch of filing just to get at the drawer containing the stones that I wanted to work with. But I am now feeling very successful, and thinking that today’s project actually counts for tomorrow’s project as well! (Posted on my Albatz Travel Blog: The Frida Kahlo Stone Necklaces)
Frida Kahlo Stones with Turquoise & Sea Urchin Spines I see that I am having trouble keeping within the half-hour limit on projects; what if the project takes 3 hours? 40 hours? What if I want to carry on exploring the project and I don’t have time?

May 3rd – my one-a-day creative project is already falling apart.

Blew it again. Turbulent day… traumatic business meeting in the morning, and battling with php coding (web shit) all afternoon. I did a sketch but only spent 20 minutes… just making it through today was a biggie! Okay, I may have overestimated my energy, health, time, ability to cope, etc. on this one-a-day project.

May 4th is spent just trying to get about half of my old jars of paint open.

Looking over the list of supplies for the first day of my multimedia painting class I saw I needed a number of acrylics/brushes. So I went downstairs to check out my paints that haven’t been opened in 11 years.

LATER: Spent an hour or so just going through bags of paints in the basement. I found a couple of unlabeled yogurt containers full of clear slime; retardant maybe? After soaking 20 or so jars and tubes in hot water I managed to get about 15 of them open. But thinking back, only a year ago my hands were so weak I couldn’t have gotten anything open. So yay for me!

May 5th – thinking in black & white.

Tried thinking in black & white, and somehow my mind got stuck at ‘granite’.
black & white original stone May 6th – fold, bend and mutilate.

Trying to capture the essence of a jungle palm.
palm in Costa Rica The second week of my one-a-day creative project.


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